How often do we come across the following pre-med?
"Ever since I was six years old, I have been drawn to the intricacies and challenges of pediatric trauma cardiothoracic surgery. From shadowing cardiothoracic surgeons, to volunteering in the cardiothoracic surgery department at the hospital, to participating in research projects related to the field, during my time in university, I know that I will become a field-leader in pediatric trauma cardiothoracic surgery. In my free time, I enjoy watching surgical videos on Youtube and am currently self-studying the anatomy of the heart.”
While I overblew this example a little bit, we have all come across this type of pre-med. I should know; I was like this for a bit.
When it comes to applying for medical school, it is definitely important to have a clear intention and goal for what you want to achieve in medical school and your future career. Without a concrete example of the type/field of medicine you want to go into, medical schools may feel as if you are too general of an applicant. Thus, when you are crafting your application and writing your essays, I recommend making sure you are writing with concrete ideas rather than wishy washy statements.
For example, a great example is the following.
“Based on my experience looking at how demographic and geographic factors affect the vaccination rates in Nigeria, I wish to pursue a career in public health medicine to ensure equal healthcare access for disenfranchised patient populations. “
However, when you are writing your essays and interviewing, there is a common mistake that pre-meds make. It is important to strike a balance between having a clear idea of what you want to do but also being open to new possibilities.
An example that happened to me was that I told the interviewer that there were many great options at their medical school, of which I listed a few, but I want to explore to make sure I chose the right field. The interviewer was impressed by my self-awareness and commented, "It's so refreshing to see a student who is self-aware and not completely grounded in one thing."
In conclusion, when interviewing for medical school, it's important to be able to articulate your passion for a specific field of medicine, but also demonstrate that you are open to new opportunities and willing to explore different areas. This balance can help you stand out as a strong candidate and set you up for success in medical school and beyond.